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Meghan Ely

PR Tools This PR Pro Can’t Live Without

Meghan ElyWhen you’re balancing floor plans, color palettes, vendors and design schemes, it can be difficult to find time to incorporate public relations into your day-to-day routine. Of course, we all know how vital PR is to growing your business and bringing in more prospects. The question is: How can we prioritize PR without sacrificing valuable time?

Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about streamlining public relations and keeping things as efficient as possible. Although I’ve tried more programs and apps than I can keep track of, there are a handful that I’ve grown to love and have become seamlessly integrated into regular operations.

Let’s take a look at some of my favorites:

HARO and SourceBottle
In short, these two programs are lifesavers
. Rather than having to scour the Internet for press leads, HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and SourceBottle connect you directly with the press contacts. Essentially, reporters work with these programs to provide the topics that they’re working on and, with a free account, you can receive a digest of available topics to share your expertise on. It doesn’t get simpler than that!

Believe it or not, Twitter isn’t just for trending hashtags and sharing your lunch
. Twitter Lists are a feature that is often overlooked, but tremendously useful. I create lists for different sets of media contacts so I can catch up all in one place, without being distracted by the likes of cat videos and the latest Kardashian scoop. It puts all of the people you need to keep up with in one place, making it much easier for you to stay on top of press leads.

Two Bright Lights
Many wedding pros may be familiar with Two Bright Lights, but don’t always take advantage of its features.
In addition to organizing galleries for real weddings and styled shoots, it allows you not only to submit to publications but also to check press requests from multiple outlets. For example, if you have a gorgeous same-sex wedding that you’re dying to get featured, it’s as simple as searching for keywords to see who is specifically looking for LGBT submissions.

DropBox and Google Drive
Gone are the days of losing that media list you worked so hard on or the email template that has been ever so helpful
. DropBox and Google Drive are equally useful cloud-based storage programs that allow you to access your files from any device, whether you’re at the coffee shop or on the subway.

This is especially great for the wedding pros in the crowd, as we all know real wedding submissions require input about the Big Day fro the happy couple.
This is best done with insight from your clients, but interviewing them personally isn’t always feasible. Enter Wufoo--a simple-to-use form builder that allows you to create a questionnaire for couples to complete at their convenience. Voila! We’ve also found numerous other ways to use Wufoo to streamline our day-to-day, including but not limited to prospective inquiries and follow-up surveys.

There’s no guarantee that any one tool is exactly what you need, but the best way to find out is simply to give it a shot. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a program that you’ve never used before – you may just find out it’s the perfect solution!

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. 

Photo by Aaron Watson Photography

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